Paula, my step-sister, and I were like chalk and cheese growing up. She was blonde, I was brunette. She was fun and I was serious. She liked to play outside, I liked to stay in and read a book. She hated vegetables and I loved them. But, amazingly, we got on really well. Here we are pictured at Ragley Hall in Alcester, Warwickshire, on the roped play area where our parents would regularly take us in the Summer to let off steam.
This is a recipe for Lancashire Hotpot which Paula will absolutely loath because she hates any kind of offal, whereas I love lambs’ kidneys. So why associated this recipe with Paula?…… As payback for the countless times she beat me to the middle of the maze at Ragley Hall! 😘
910g (2lb) stewing lamb, cubed * 3 lambs’ kidneys, core removed and quartered * salt & freshly ground black pepper * 55g (2oz) butter * 2 onions, finely sliced * 4 carrots, peeled and cubed * 30g (1oz) plain flour * 425ml (¾ pint) chicken stock * 910g (2lb) potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced * 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves * 1 tsp finely chopped rosemary * 2 tbsp melted butter
Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas 3. Season the lamb and kidney with salt & pepper. Heat half of the butter in a large, shallow frying-pan and brown the lamb in batches. Lift to a plate, then repeat with the kidneys. Fry the onions and carrots in the pan, with the other half of the butter until golden. Sprinkle over the flour, allow to cook for a couple of minutes, pour in the stock, then bring to the boil. Stir in the meat, then pour the mixture into a casserole dish. Arrange the sliced potatoes on top of the meat. Cover with a lid or foil, then place in the oven for about 1½ hours until the potatoes are cooked. Remove the lid, brush the potatoes with the melted butter, then finish under a medium grill for 5-8 minutes until brown.
I have collated all my favourite recipes into one book FOOD FOR ALL OCCASIONS.
This recipe comes from the section GREAT BRITISH DISHES, a selection of the best of British food.